This past Sunday, I had the privilege of attending HavASole's shoe giveaway in Downtown, Los Angeles. The event was a huge success, giving hundreds of pairs of shoes away to those in need on Skid Row. HavASole's founder, Rikki Mediaz, graciously invited me to participate in the event, giving me a unique opportunity to join more than fifty other volunteers in giving shoes away.
As someone who has dedicated much of my life to promoting awareness for and supporting those less fortunate, I was truly blown away by the warmth and altruism I witnessed that day. I was equally impressed by the variety of charities the came together to support HavASole's noble cause, including The Clare Foundation, Lets.Give, More fire and Bodhi Casa. Volunteers from each of these organizations generously donated their time and resources to help improve the lives of our city's most impoverished citizens.
The true highlight of the day, however, was observing the joyous reactions of those who received the shoes.
It's easy to imagine how a new pair of shoes can improve the day-to-day lives of the homeless, but I did not anticipate how the generosity of strangers could give those less fortunate something equally if not more valuable: HOPE.
Photo Credit: Marc Espina / Desirae Jones